Over the last decades, the discussion on climate change, together with catastrophic events in the power sector, has raised global interest for radical policy changes. Since the year 2000, Germany´s Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) has been a forerunner in triggering large-scale decentralized deployment of renewable energy. Although built on a relatively large social consensus, the consequences of the German ‘Energiewende’ have also raised conflicts between communities and investor-oriented project developers. This chapter reviews the increasing role of energy co-operatives as means to involve civil society, mitigate conflicts in planning, and distribute subsidies more evenly among a variety of often rural stakeholders.
Bruce E. Kaufman
The human resource function in the business enterprise has its origins in the rise of modern industry in the late nineteenth century. This article provides a survey of its historical development both as a functional area of management practice and as an area of research and teaching in universities. Although, for reasons to be described, the bulk of attention is on the United States, The article endeavors to put the subject in an international context. Also provided is an account of the field's progress, shortcomings, and controversies.
This article discusses the vast literature focusing on the historical evolution of multinational businesses. A broad consensus prevails among most students of the history of multinational enterprise that the modern multinational dates from the mid or late nineteenth century — that it is in fact a post-industrial revolution phenomenon. Only with steamships, railroads, and cables was it possible for managers to exercise control over business operations across borders in a meaningful manner. Transportation and communication revolutions were prerequisites for the existence of effective coordination within an individual firm. Over the years, however, this consensus has been challenged. Indeed, for decades it has been recognized that certain aspects of the modern multinational enterprise have had a long history. The research on pre-industrial age multinational enterprise adds new insights into the nature and history of this most important organization.
This chapter provides a long-run historical perspective on international business in emerging markets. It focuses on the role of Western MNEs, and examines their strategies and the management challenges they faced. In the first era of globalization from the 19th century to the 1920s, MNEs sought access to natural resources, and benefitted from exclusive contracts. Innovation was focused on overcoming logistical challenges. During the Great Reversal during the middle decades of the 20th century, the main challenges faced by MNEs were political. Mounting hostility led many firms to divest, and to invest elsewhere. In the contemporary global economy, political risks declined, but corporate strategies needed to carefully manage relations with the government. Emerging markets were increasingly seen as indispensable by MNEs. They were both a place to locate activities in the lower end of global value chains and a growing market.
John H. Dunning
In considering the origin, form, and global spread of the value-added activities of multinational enterprises (MNEs) over the past four and a half decades, this article traces the main thrust and content of two influential strands of literature. The two strands are closely interrelated. The first examines the development of scholarly thinking on the determinants of the ownership, sectoral pattern, and geographical scope of MNE activity. The second identifies, and where possible evaluates the significance of the main changes in the external technological, economic, and political environment that, in part at least, have helped fashion these determinants. In reviewing both literatures, and the interface between them, the article considers three main time periods, viz. the 1960s to the mid 1970s, the mid 1970s to the late 1980s, and the late 1980s to the early 2000s.
Xabier Barandiaran and Javier Lezaun
The town of Mondragón in the Basque Country is home to one of the largest and most significant experiences of co-operative organization and workers’ self-management anywhere in the world. The Mondragón co-operative movement, born in the 1950s around the local technical training college and a handful of small industrial firms, encompasses today more than one hundred co-operative firms operating in ninety-seven countries and generating an aggregate revenue of €12bn. In this chapter we review the historical origins of the Mondragón experience and the goals that guided the first co-operative projects. After describing the key organizational principles and governance mechanisms of individual co-operatives and of the Mondragón group as a whole, we will examine the rapid expansion and internationalization of some of the most emblematic Mondragón firms—a process that has led to a difficult balance between the maintenance of the original co-operative principles at home and an increasing reliance on capitalist forms of ownership and production abroad. We conclude by discussing the impact of the recent economic downturn on the Mondragón group and its system of inter-co-operative solidarity, and by reflecting on the future prospects for this far-reaching experiment in collective ownership and democratic governance.